Fernando Alonso was riding on the wave of his podium in Qatar as he aimed to finish his season in style in Abu Dhabi. But the Yas Marina Circuit became a traffic paradise towards the end of Q2, which left the Alpine driver high and dry as he qualified in P11.
Naturally, Alonso had a livid reaction; first in his car, and then after the session as he singled out someone he recently seemed to have a bromance with. The Spaniard believes the drivers who became obstacles in the form of traffic will be penalized ahead of the race. And in particular, McLaren driver, Daniel Ricciardo.
He said about Ricciardo, “The team or the driver or whatever, because even if there is a lot of traffic on the out-lap you need to move when a fast car is coming and he didn’t move.”
“I think in Austria Vettel had three places [penalty] so I expect three places minimum or more and let’s see where I start.”
Alonso added that he expects to start higher than where he qualified.
“I think I’ll start ninth, in my opinion, but let’s see.”
Fernando Alonso wants FIA to learn from football
The Spaniard explained how in football, a tackle normally warrants a penalty or a card while in F1 there are no such warnings or rules. He said, “We need a referee to protect us and at the moment we don’t have it so that’s bad.”
The two-time world champion also had some words for race director Michael Massi as he called out his leniency as a big factor in such situations.
“Race director is too soft on this and if you let us to play on the out-laps and things like that it’s always going to be a mess,” Alonso said.
For all the right and wrong reasons, ‘El Plan’ didn’t work on Saturday for the Alpine driver. But Fernando Alonso will hope it works on Sunday, be it in terms of penalties or finishing as high as possible.